New Orleans Saints fans stretch far and wide around the Gulf of Mexico, and while many of them don’t actually live in Louisiana, your state is in the forefront of our thoughts right now.
Prior to becoming an online blogger covering teams for the Rantsports.com and other online networks, I spent my life trying to make a living from the waters of the Gulf of Mexico through commercial fishing and as a licensed USCG captain, taking passengers for hire out to catch fish off the shores of the West Florida Coast.
As a part of what I used to do in the past decade, I traveled around the Gulf region, meeting fishermen from the Florida Panhandle to Brownsville Texas. All around the northern Gulf, fishermen nearly always had New Orleans Saints hats or gear on, or their boats were adorned by the Fleur de Lis emblem which is emblazoned on the Saints helmets.
There was always the local pride and faith in the Saints from nearly everyplace I traveled. The unconditional attachment that fans have to their teams, win or lose, always holding out hope that next year will be “The Year”. The last year I was in the region was 1 year prior to Hurricane Katrina. I’ve not been back to the region after Katrina, and now Louisiana has to deal with another disaster of biblical proportions. You must feel like the hits just keep on coming.
I watched this video of Billy Nungesser, the President of Plaquemines Parrish on Youtube, and I had to write something.
I can’t possibly imagine what is going through your minds right now. Many coastal residents and businesses have just reopened since Katrina and now face another immense hurdle with this impending disaster of the oil spill.
And to the fishermen; the watermen, I understand what you’ve gone through the last decade. Katrina, fuel prices which kept you at dock, seemingly unending regulations, the farm raised shrimp dumping which caused domestic shrimp prices to crash, and now this. The cradle of the World’s finest seafood has been tarnished, possibly for decades.
Fishing is a difficult occupation and you are watching daily as more and more of the Gulf of Mexico is being closed to any sort of fishing with no idea when it might re-open. There are so many unanswered questions and such an uncertain future.
I wish I had an answer for you all as many around the globe do as well. You’ve rebounded from Katrina along the coast, and now this is another huge obstacle, yes, but just as all the fishermen I met around the region who had that unconditional faith in the Saints to turn it around, the Saints did. They won the Super Bowl. Now, it’s time for the rest of us around the Gulf region to rally around all of you in the Northern Gulf. We have our unconditional faith in all of you.
All of you are in our thoughts and in our prayers. You are not forgotten. Tight lines and full boxes my brethren.